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Vietnamese Researchers Develop Digital Map of Essential Goods Supply Points

Image credit: Nhan Dan

From a list of nearly 3,000 essential goods supply points introduced by Ho Chi Minh City, researchers have built a digital map for mobile devices to guide people to find what they need quickly, encouraging social distancing protocols. The technology has integrated nearly 3,000 locations selling essential items with useful information such as location, operating time, contact information, delivery method, and actual opening status.

As per news reports, the creators are a student of information technology at the University of Natural Sciences under the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City and a researcher in Japan. People only need to use a computer or mobile device to access the website to learn where the goods are available. If the user agrees to share the location, the map will show the nearest stores as well as the route.

The stores displayed on the digital map are also separated by wards/communes and districts, creating favourable conditions for people to shop quickly, and limiting their time on the street in the current period. The data of the digital map is taken from the list of essential items (food, masks, hand sanitisers, etc) supply points of the distribution system in Ho Chi Minh City and deployed by the authorities to the people.

This list has up to 111 markets, 106 supermarkets, and 2,616 convenience stores, but it is presented in Microsoft Excel format. According to the developers, the digital map is built in the “open” direction. Users can suggest correcting inaccurate information or update the operation status and locations of stores. The sole purpose is to help people easily access essential shops, one of the developers noted. After the social distancing period, the digital map can be converted into a place to find updated information about charity locations or how to donate food.

Ho Chi Minh City authorities have announced other technological solutions to combat the spread of the virus. The Vietnam Health Declaration (VHD) System was developed by Viettel Group for people entering Vietnam to make medical declarations. Based on data collected from this application, the health system will provide medical assistance as quickly as possible. The system only uses smartphones. Before entering Vietnam, people must prepare the necessary documents, install the Vietnam Health Declaration and Bluezone applications (Bluetooth and GPS must be turned on), and make a medical declaration. At the border gate, they have to make a medical declaration, undergo medical quarantine, receive a tracing bracelet, and move to a quarantine facility.

Another application is STAYHOME. Developed by TMA Solutions, it is a smart bracelet that is connected with the smartphones of people under quarantine. The bracelet will help monitor people under quarantine and provide their updated body temperature. Furthermore, CMCovidSafe, developed by the Tech4Covid team from the HCM City University of Natural Sciences and HCM City University of Information Technology, is a bracelet integrated with a SIM. As OpenGov Asia reported earlier, the technology will be piloted under two phases. The first phase will be applied in District 7, Go Vap District, District 12, Tan Binh District, and the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City from July to August 2021. Phase 2 will start from August 2021 in all districts and Thu Duc City.

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